Current Scenario and Future Scope of Fashion Retailing in e-Commerce

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Negosentro.comThe entire business scenario of the fashion retail industry in the Indian market has encountered a significant change. Competition among the industry giants is among the prime reasons behind the changes that have occurred in the past few years. The retailers associated with the fashion industry gradually started relying on the internet taking it as an alternative selling channel.


The best part of online retailing or commonly known as e-tail was the direct access to the targeted clients. As all the big fashion retailers in the market have already made their presence felt along with the medium enterprises on their way to make it big, it signifies the evolution that is taking place in the retail market of the fashion industry.

Looking into the statistics will make things more clear. A report and market analysis of eTailing India suggests that in the year 2017, India’s online retail market has $7 Billion in their share. Evidently, fashion retailing alone contributed $2.4 Billion in making the total amount. Among the Indian states, Maharashtra has been located as the place for maximum profit for retailers. It is a proven fact that Mumbai alone has 24% of share in the overall e-commerce transactions in India.

India’s Online Retail Revenue has further produced an estimation regarding the issue that suggests within the year 2020, Indian online retail market can grow up to $60 Billion taking a huge leap from the current share. Interestingly, the estimation also suggests that the online fashion retail has the capability of contributing almost $120 Billion in the amount above by the year 2020.


Advancement of fashion retail industry through e-tail

The invention of WWW during 90’s followed by the grand release of Mozilla Netscape in the year 1994 has opened up a new arena for the retailers all over the world. Pizza Hut was the first company that has introduced their services through the medium of the internet and from that time, the arena gradually expanded. Since the time, e-tailing became an immensely popular option for businesses such as apparels, books, cars, electronics, handicrafts, cosmetics, novelties and financial services.

Some of the principal advantages entailed with the preference for retailing is the minimum cost of investment along with the quickest possible return on investment. The sellers felt the benefit of describing the portfolio of their products and services directly to the customers with more ease. The online transaction data derived from the e-commerce websites further helped them to identify their clients more vividly. The sellers utilised the information for providing discounts and carry out their promotional activities with more effectiveness. Easily accessible internet and now the provision of extreme digitisation has made it possible for the consumers to access broadband services. This penetration of internet has positively influenced the improvement of fashion retailing in India.

The organic phase of Indian fashion retail industry is thoroughly influenced by the different trends of the market that includes diversified buyers, retail-based regulations and the buying pattern of consumers. As a result, the fashion retail market has evolved to become more modern and advanced. The entire market has become more corporate in its approach than it ever was. However, the key to their success in the e-tail is always flexibility and adapting nature towards the particular requirements of the customers.

A major section of the online fashion retailers has concentrated on customising the fashion-based products to satisfy the individual needs of their potential clients. This unique customer-centric approach of the retailers has further diminished the obstructions in the way of their success in this country.

Classification of the Retail Industry

The entire retail industry can be divided into two major sections based on the current flow. While one is organised retail, the other is considered as the unorganised retail.

Organised Retail: The organised retailers have the license for carrying out their trading activities suing the internet as the medium. As these companies are considered as registered, the owners are bound to pay taxes to the government for proper validation.

Unorganised Retail: This section of the retail industry may have the existence in the offline store as these are the completely unauthorised small outlet, but in the online arena, especially the fashion industry has not got any sort of influence by these outlets. This section can be counted as one of the most influential forces to contribute to the retail economy, but it did not leave any impact on the online sector.

Trends of Current Fashion Dynamics

  • A majority of the fashion retailers have incorporated multichannel campaign as a preferable business strategy to expand their ground over the internet.
  • Online buyers have extended their support for to fashion retailers like Korra, Red Polka and Koovs that are considered to be niche retailers in the Indian market at the primary stages.
  • Initially, the online retailing platforms were used by the newcomers in the industry who were doing their business with the motif of experimentations. However, their prompt success story has led the big retailers like Reliance, Tata, Arvind Mills, Aditya Birla Group and Raymond to expand their business in the online platform.

Key factors contributed to the growth of fashion retail

  • The concept of double income household has made women economically independent of spending a section of their earned money in purchasing fashion-based products.
  • Increase in the customer aspiration
  • The changing outlook towards world fashion
  • Increasing rate of computer literacy in India
  • 30% of the entire e-tail is comprised of fashion apparels
  • Purchase of fashion based products have increased compared to electronics, books and other personal care products
  • Rising demand and expenditure on fashion based products among women
  • The absence of branded offline stores in non-urban localities of India has led the citizens to rely on online stores.

Major Challenges

  • The seller base has increased to share the 25% of fashion based sales previously secured by a single vendor.
  • A continuous effort towards product assortment as it is the key contributor in driving the sales.
  • Delivery of the products to massive scale of regions without disrupting the timeliness
  • Growing number of online buyers and their diversified requirements
  • Some customers are still comfortable in having the product in hand before they finally purchase it. Cracking them is not an easy task for the online retailers.

The giants of fashion e-tail

  • Flipkart
  • Snapdeal
  • Amazon

These three e-commerce websites can be considered as the key players who are contributing to the economic growth in fashion retail industry of India. As Flipkart has recently acquired other two favourite websites naming Myntra and Jabong, it is estimated that within the year 2020, Flipkart will be on the top of the list with the market share around 65-70%. Other notable names that have been popular in the fashion business in the recent times include Fashionbuzzer, YepMe, Voonik, Craftsvilla and Koovs. The market is incredibly dynamic, and that is why online fashion retailers are progressive with the competitive approach for market acquisition. Therefore, the tables can turn anytime and enable the pillions to take the ride forward.

Product category in fashion retail

According to the statistics calculated in the year 2016:

  • Apparel is dominating the fashion segment with 47% of market share
  • Fashion accessories have 40% of share
  • Footwear is in the 3rd position with 9% acquisition
  • Lingerie possesses 4% of market share
  • 42% of ethnic wear in the apparel section gave it a dominating position
  • Similarly, among the fashion accessories, 58% is covered by jewellery for women

Future Scope for the online industry

  • Although Flipkart tends to dominate the market of the fashion industry with its acquisition of two major online fashion stores, however, Amazon fashion refuses to lag behind and therefore gearing up for giving a tough fight. Amazon India singularly contributes almost 30% of the total customer base of Amazon. Therefore, a bright future is ahead of them regarding the fashion sector.
  • Other E-tailers are trying hard and pushing tough limits by focusing on introducing their private labels that will help them to create a strong brand image.
  • Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce giants, is entering the Indian fashion retail market through B2C technique. Their excessive low rate and extensive range of fashion products may pose a substantial threat to the Indian fashion retailers.
  • Vast possibilities of consolidations are there shortly that will decrease the number of Indian fashion retailers.


To make sure that the fashion retailing industry continues their growing existence, they have to modify their business models as well as strategies for satisfying the customers. In the arena of fashion, the sky is to be considered as the limit and therefore, the progressive retailers have to concentrate on their marketing approach. They should encourage the theory of market acquisition through innovation. As it is well conceived that the scope of experimentation in fashion is never going to stop, therefore the innovative initiatives of the fashion retailers ought to get furnished over the time till they make it taste the international standard.